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Textual Presentation of Data

Textual presentation of data means presenting data in the form of words, sentences and paragraphs. The opposite of textual presentation is graphical presentation of data. While graphical presentation of data is the most popular and widely used in the research, textual presentation allows the researcher to present qualitative data that cannot be presented in graphical or tabular forms.

Data can be presented in one of the three forms: text, tables, and/or graphs. The selection of the method of presentation depends on the type of data, method of analysis, and type of information sought from the data.
Whatever method you choose your data should be presented in the simplest form so the reader can easily draw meanings form it. The researcher should choose a method of data presentation after clearly understanding the advantages and disadvantages of using that method.

There are both advantages and disadvantages of textual presentation of data. Textual presentation provides more room for interpretation and understanding of the meaning of the data.

Factors to consider in textual presentation of data

The textual presentation of data is very helpful in presenting contextual data. It helps the researcher explain and analyze specific points in data. While presenting data in textual form the researcher should consider the following factors.

  1. The researcher should know the target audience who are going to read it. The researcher should use a language in the presentation of data that is easy to understand and highlights the main points of the data findings.
  2. The author should use wordings that does not introduce bias in research. Avoid the use of biased, slanted, or emotional language.
  3. Accuracy should be maintained in presenting data and the numbers and percentages presented in the textual data should be reviewed to avoid any mistakes in the presentation.
  4. To make it easier for the audience to comprehend the important points in data, the researcher should avoid unnecessary details. Too much detail can make it difficult for the audience to concentrate on the key points in data.
  5. Do not repeat the same point again and again it will ruin the purpose of textual presentation. Your data presentation will become monotonous if there is repetition of data finding.
  6. Try to shorten longer phrases wherever possible, mix two phrases when they can be combined as one.
  7. One mistake that often researchers make is to use general descriptive words like, too much, little, exactly, all, always, never, must and many more. These words should be avoided as they only add to the unnecessary details in your data presentation. The numbers and percentages better describe and fulfill the aim of data presentation.
  8. Another point to consider is to avoid decorative language while make sure that you use scholarly language in your data presentation.

Advantages of Textual presentation

  1. Textual presentation of data allows the researcher to interpret the data more elaborately during the presentation. According to In and Lee, 2017, text is the principal method for explaining findings, outlining trends, and providing contextual information
  2. It allows the researcher to present qualitative data that cannot be presented in graphical or tabular form.
  3. Textual presentation can help in emphasizing some important points in data. It allows the researcher to explain the data in contextual manner and the reader can draw meaning out of it.
  4. Small sets of data can be easily presented through textual presentation. For example, simple data like, there are 30 students in the class 20 of whom are girls while 10 are boys is easier to understand through textual presentation. No table or graph is required to present this data as it can be comprehended through text.


Disadvantages of Textual presentation

  1. The major disadvantage of the textual presentation of data is that it produces extensive data in the form of words and paragraphs. It becomes difficult for the reader to draw conclusions in a glance. On the other hand data presented in tables or graphs can make it easier for the readers to draw conclusions from the data.
  2. Textual presentation of data is not suitable for large sets of data that has too many details. Graphical or tabular forms allow the researcher to make large data displayed easily.
  3. In textual presentation one has to read through he whole text to understand and comprehend the main point.

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